When the late William Tuttle Sherrill started out his manufacturer’s representative business in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960, the inventory was meant to be used much closer to the ground than the treetops. Sherrill started out in a small home office, representing lawn and garden equipment manufacturers to retailers and distributors in the Carolina’s and Virginia’s.
When outdoor enthusiast Tobe Sherrill joined the business in the early 1980s, he narrowed the focus to selling tree care machinery directly to a growing rental equipment industry and, in time, to regional tree services.
Over time the company built a solid reputation as a tow-and-show tree care equipment dealer/service center reaching four states in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. Then, in September 1989, Hurricane Hugo came ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, leaving 56,000 people homeless across the Carolinas and $10 billion in damage in its wake.
Tree service professionals came from around the nation to the coast of South Carolina to help in the cleanup. Tobe Sherrill was required to bring in a camper to a borrowed lot in Charleston - to sell them the equipment and supplies needed for the following 9-month disaster clean up.
Shortly after that important experience Sherrill talked his father into purchasing his first, early model Apple MacIntosh computer, which he used to produce SherrillTree's first catalog in 1991. In the years to come SherrillTree would grow into a 3-store operation and with catalog requests arriving from all parts of the world.
Gradually, the inventory grew from mostly grinders and chippers to mostly arborists' supplies, including ropes, harnesses and pruners. SherrillTree’s unique catalog catapulted it into the international spotlight as the leading retail publication for professional arborists.
In 2001, SherrillTree made two big changes. One was to enter into an agreement with the industry leader, Vermeer, in which Sherrill would serve as the distribution center of tree gear for Vermeer’s extensive dealership network. This move effectively streamlined operations at SherrillTree and exposed Sherrill’s top quality gear to a still broader professional audience.
The second change was to provide a growing sector of non-professional tree climbers (those who climb for research or fun) with professional climbing gear. Having become a huge fan of tree climbing himself, Tobe reasoned that the same equipment, training and safety procedures used by tree service professionals should be targeted to a growing audience of tree enthusiasts.
With Tobe’s history in the tree care industry, and his love of climbing trees recreationally, one may not find SherrillTree’s mission statement at all a surprise. In his words:
The mission of SherrillTree is to provide tree care professionals and climbers with the widest selection of quality tree gear, helpful information and superior service. Equipped with a passion for trees, SherrillTree hopes to inspire a deeper awareness that will ultimately benefit trees and people.